By Kendall Crumbaugh
Following in her father’s footsteps was not her original plan, but University of Mississippi Professor Robin Street said she would not change her career path for anything. Street has been a Lecturer in the School of Journalism and New Media for 20 years.
Born and raised in Oxford, Street said she believes in giving back to her community by helping her students grow to be successful in their careers.
Street has been at the University of Mississippi since she decided to pursue her bachelor’s degree in English and sociology, and then continued on to pursue her master’s degree in journalism and health promotion. She departed for a brief time to become a juvenile probations officer, but she quickly found out that this was not the path for her. When the chair called her and asked her to come back and pursue a teaching career, Street said she immediately accepted and started work the next day.
“Bells rang and angels sang once I found this career,” she said. “I knew I was home and that this is what I wanted to do.”
Street has proven to be a stand-out favorite among students.
“She is so invested in each and every one of us and pours into us daily,” said senior Dotsie Stevens, an integrated marketing communications student. “Her enthusiasm makes me excited to go to class every day and she proves her character with her compassion and understanding.”
Walking into Street’s office feels like walking into a museum of her student’s successes. There are bulletin boards filled with business cards of her past students to showcase their hard work. She said she believes that their success is her success.
“My greatest accomplishment as a teacher is seeing my students out in the world doing what I taught them to do,” she said.
There are also bookcases filled with photos of past students, as well as awards that she and her students won together. The time that Street gives her students is carried on far after they have graduated. Keeping in touch and celebrating student successes is an important role she loves to take on, she said.
A quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, “It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness,” is one of Street’s favorite quotes, she said. Students can see a poster of the quote front and center on her office door. Street said, as an educator, she tries to embody the essence of this quote.
“If someone has valid reasoning for not being able to make it to class or get their assignments in on time, I want to help them not hinder them,” she said. “If they need an extra day then sometimes it is better to give it to them.”
Street created a campaign for the School of Journalism and New Media, “Diversity Rocks”, that promotes acceptance of diverse people in terms of race, sexual orientation, disabilities and other differences. The campaign she created with students helped earn them a Silver Anvil Award of Excellence from the Public Relations Society of America. The award recognizes outstanding strategic public relations planning and implementation.
Street said the campaign started conversations on campus and created opportunities for students to ask questions regarding race, gender, sexual orientation and how these different aspects of their lives affect them.